BENGALURU: JD(S) president H.D. Deve Gowda said on Wednesday he would strive to re-build his party, post the drubbing in Lok Sabha polls, without hurting the prospects of ruling coalition in Karnataka.
Speaking at his party office during an interaction with leaders of minority community, marred by arguments, Mr Gowda urged Mr Rahul Gandhi to take up a responsible position in the party despite stepping down as its president, in order to strengthen the party. Mr Gandhi could not be blamed for his party's poor performance as BJP leaders made the most of the surgical strike, post the Pulwama attack on a convoy of vehicles carrying security personnel, to return to power in New Delhi. Mr Rahul Gandhi was hurt by poll results but should realize that factors such as the surgical strike on terror camps across the border impacted the outcome of elections.
Mr Gowda said the Congress and his party worked in tandem in order to keep the BJP out of power. "The JD(S) won only 37 seats, but to keep the BJP at bay, Mrs Sonia Gandhi asked Mr Kumaraswamy to take over Chief Minister. The decision was taken in the presence of senior leaders of Congress. Now, two MLAs have resigned and there are rumors that another five to six will follow suit. Mr Kumaraswamy is talking to everyone from the US, and here, Mr Siddaramaiah and Dr Parameshwara are doing the same work,'' he added.
When asked about Periyapattana MLA Mr Mahadevu statement that Mr Ramesh Jarkiholi had demanded `80 crores from Mr Kumaraswamy, Mr Gowda said would not react to such questions.
He also declined to comment on outgoing state unit president A H Vishwanath's statement in New Delhi against Mr Siddaramaiah and said that he did not know in which context the former made such a statement. "However, Mr Vishwanath will not quit the JD(S),'' he added. During his interaction with leaders of minority community, party workers got into an argument about voting pattern in Lok Sabha elections.
Mr Altaf Khan, a defeated candidate of JD(S), charged that voters belonging to minority community did not vote for Congress candidates, resulting in victory of BJP candidates. He said in Chamarajpet, the minority community voted for the BJP and not Congress. Party leaders requested the media to leave the venue for a while when workers in the audience got into an argument with Mr Altaf Khan and asked him to stop his speech....